Gov. Ron DeSantis doesn’t support a measure that would require some bloggers to register with the state when content turns political.
And he would really like the news media to stop attributing the proposal and some other bills filed by lawmakers to him.
Speaking to reporters Tuesday after giving his State of the State address, DeSantis sought to distance himself from Sen. Jason Brodeur’s proposal (SB 1316) requiring paid bloggers writing about state government officials to register with the Florida Office of Legislative Services or the Commission on Ethics.
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“I know most of you here get this. And you’re probably not the ones doing it. But everyone in the Legislature can file bills,” DeSantis said. “I see these people filing bills, and there’s an article with my face on the article saying that ‘bloggers are going to have to register with the state.’ And they’re attributing it to me. And I’m like, that’s not something I’ve ever supported.”
“I don’t control every single bill that has been filed or amended,” DeSantis continued. “As we go through the session, please understand that.”
House Speaker Paul Renner, R-Palm Coast, also expressed opposition to the measure, which he doesn’t expect to get through the Legislature.
The proposal also produced an online Republican dustup.
Former U.S. House Speaker Newt Gingrich said in a Twitter post on Sunday morning that Brodeur should withdraw the proposal, as “the idea that bloggers criticizing a politician should register with the government is insane.”
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Just after noon, Brodeur, R-Sanford, tweeted the blogger bill “brings the current pay-to-play scheme to light and gives voters clarity as to who is influencing their elected officials, JUST LIKE how we treat lobbyists. It’s an electioneering issue, not a free speech issue.”
Later that day, Sen. Blaise Ingoglia, R-Spring Hill, hit back at Gingrich, saying in a tweet: “What’s embarrassing is that you didn’t even bother to read the bill and you’re just spouting MSM (mainstream media) talking points. Sorry Mr. Speaker. You’re wrong. You should withdraw that comment immediately.”
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